The moon is in a good phase, and if one theory about the lunar fishing calendar holds true the mornings will offer the best fishing. Many experienced anglers agree that fishing is better when the moon is visible in the sky.

Tonight it rises at 3.44am and sets about 3pm tomorrow. Then it is about 40 minutes later each day. The moon phase is excellent also, with the moon in the third quarter and waning towards a new moon on Thursday.

Snapper have moved in close along the coast in the Hauraki Gulf already, and are being caught in the Tamaki Strait and along the East Coast Bays.

Fish can also be found around the Noises, Maria Rock and the Ahaaha Rocks; and there are also plenty of work-ups out in the gulf. Drifting and covering the ground at 40m with slow jigs and flutter jigs will often locate fish, and then it is a case of going back and repeating the drift. The pinnacles in the middle of the Firth of Thames are fishing well, and it is worth trying a whole jack mackerel in these areas.

There is a prevalence of gurnard on the east coast, and at the bottom end of Waiheke Island.

Advertisement

Gurnard can be targeted by using a flasher rig, and red or orange are good colours, with a combination of baits like chunks of bonito, salted mussel and pilchard.

The baits should be on the seabed, and this is easily achieved by reversing the sinker set-up and putting a heavier weight above the swivel at the top of the rig and a smaller one on the bottom.

With a 3m high tide on the Waitemata Harbour today the channels will produce the best currents. And tides increase over the next few days, improving the action.

When bottom fishing in water of 20 to 45m most people will use a ledger rig with the sinker at the bottom of a pre-tied flasher rig or a home-tied trace with a couple of hooks on loops.

Always use recurve hooks on this set-up, size 5/0 or 6/0 are fine, and push the loop through the eye of the hook from the point side of the hook shank and back under the hook to secure it.

When the trace is held up with the hook dangling, the hook will sit up at an angle and when the angler strikes the energy is delivered in a direct line into the fish's mouth.

Another important aspect of this type of snapper fishing is to use small baits. Chunks of cut pilchard or squid work well, with the hook pushed through so it passes under the backbone of the pilchard.

These baits will come off easily but it is easy to replace, important during a hot bite. It may not last and you want to get the baits back on the bottom as fast as possible. You do this by pointing the rod straight down so the line runs off in a straight line and not at an angle. It is also important to keep in touch with the bait.

Advertisement

Even gentle bites are transmitted to fingers holding the line, and when the rod is pointing down it is a simple matter of winding the line and raising the rod to strike.

Freshwater
Some nice fresh-run trout up to 2.5kg are still coming from the Tongariro River on both nymphs and wet flies. On smaller streams a dry fly is worth trying as there are some good hatches in the afternoons.

But the high level of Lake Taupo makes fishing the larger rips tricky as it can be hard locating the current at the drop-off. One useful indicator is to look for leaves moving along the sand on the bottom.

Tip of the week

If heading out after snapper this weekend don't limit your opportunities. If planning on using jigs or slow jigs, also take berley and bait as if the jigging is slow you can drop the anchor and a berley bomb and wait for 10 minutes. The fish will turn up. More fishing action can be found at www.GTtackle.co.nz

Bite times
Bite times are 9.25am and 9.50pm tomorrow and 10.15am and 10.40 pm on Sunday.